To the surprise of very few. ‘Defensive Consultant’ Chris Jones is departing the Argos to take on the GM and Head Coaching job with his former team in Edmonton. The Elks today officially announced the hiring of Chris Jones to take over their franchise. Jones, a former CFL coach of the year, returns to his old stomping grounds to try and win another Grey Cup with Edmonton.
What Now For The Argos?
For Toronto, the departure of Chris Jones is an expected outcome. Jones made his return to the CFL last season as a hired gun for the Boatmen, brought on to help correct the team’s defence after the abrupt departure in midstream of defensive coordinator Glen Young.
The Argos have some housecleaning to do as they set sail towards the 2022 season. With Jones now officially out of the picture. Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie will need to look for a replacement. Deciding on who will run his team’s defensive unit for the upcoming season will be one of his most significant decisions in the offseason.
As a first-time head coach, Ryan Dinwiddie did a phenomenal job surrounding himself with experienced members of his staff. Dinwiddie has connections to Calgary. And there is always the possibility of trying to bring back Rich Stubler or even enticing Glen Young to return. Although the latter could be a longshot based on how things broke between Young and the Boatmen. But no matter, Dinwiddie’s hire at DC will be of utmost importance.
There’s also a change in the Argonauts football operations department, with the club recently dismissing now-former VP of Player Personnel John Murphy. Once the smoke clears, it would not be shocking to see Murphy join his old running mate Jones in Edmonton at some point.
Toronto could decide to elevate someone from within to assume Murphy’s duties. The favorite for that role is current Argonauts Director of Scouting Vince Magri. Whoever is assisting Argos GM Michael Clemons will have a challenging task redirecting the franchise after a successful campaign in 2021.
The Argos have several free agents on their roster. The quick turnaround to next season will require quicker decisions than the timeframe CFL teams had between 2019 and 2021.
Toronto has a lot of key players who will be free agents come February. The list is loaded with starters from the Argos Eastern Division Championship team.
One of the most notable names that will garner plenty of speculation in the coming months is quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson. There might be some intriguing names available on the pivot for Toronto to explore. Or they could run it back with MBT. Provided that Bethel-Thompson wants to return. With opportunities opening up in Canada and the United States.
Changes to the front office and coaching staff can directly affect which Argos return to the Six and which ones don’t.
To that end, the Argos released their negotiation list for their upcoming season. Toronto has also claimed exclusive rights to the following players.
- Starting Left Tackle Dejon Allen
- Starting DB Treston Decoud
Here are the players on the Argos negotiation list. It’s worth noting that QB Chad Kelly was a part of the Argos trade with Edmonton for Nick Arbuckle. Depending on Kelly’s options in the United States (USFL/XFL/NFL). He could be a part of the team’s plans in 2022 if he decides to make the journey north of the border.
|Willie Harvey||LB||Iowa State|
|Jonathan Hubbard||OL||Northwestern State|
|Chad Kelly||QB||Ole Miss|
|Shedeur Sanders||QB||Jackson State|
With Chris Jones gone. The Argos’ new defensive coordinator will certainly have a lot of say and sway in how Toronto’s defence looks in 2022. And who from this list below returns. It’s going to be an intriguing offseason.
Argos 2022 Free Agent List
|BETHEL-THOMPSON, Mcleod||A||QB||Sacramento State|
|BOATENG, Matthew*||N||DB||Fresno State|
|BRESCACIN, Juwan*||N||WR||Northern Illinois|
|COLLINS JR., Ricky||A||WR||Texas A&M Commerce|
|DANIEL, Robertson||A||DB||Brigham Young|
|DANIELS, DaVaris||A||WR||Notre Dame|
|GLENN, Cameron||A||DB||Wake Forest|
|LAW, Cordarro||A||DL||Southern Mississippi|
|MCCOIL SR., Dexter||A||LB||Tulsa|
|MUAMBA, Henoc*||N||LB||St. Francis Xavier|
|NEVIS, Drake||A||DL||Louisiana State|
|RICHARDS, Shane*||N||OL||Oklahoma State|
|RICHARDS, Jeff||A||DB||Emporia State|
|ROGERS, Eric||A||WR||California Lutheran|
|SMITH, Robbie*||N||DL||Wilfrid Laurier|
|TUGGLE, Justin||A||DL||Kansas State|